When the season started it didn’t look to positive for the Washington Wizards. There best two players, John Wall and Nene Hilario, were sitting in suits nursing injuries instead of taking the court with the rest of the team Ernie Grunfeld put together in hopes of playing for a playoff spot. It also didn’t help that the Wizards lost their first 12 games of the season. Now, with the return of Wall and a healthier Nene, the team is playing some of their best basketball in the past few years.
Plenty of the recent moves made by Grunfeld have been heavily scrutinized, especially with the horrid beginning to the season. Now may be the time to finally give Grunfeld credit for putting together a much more competitive squad than anyone wanted to give him credit for. Of course, there is still plenty of work to do on this team, but once Wall returned and everyone slid into their respective roles, this team started to thrive.
The Wizards are also displaying an intangible characteristic that teams in the past didn’t, a will to win every night. There would be times when the old Wizard teams would be down early and the game would turn into a glorified pickup game with every man for himself.
Not on this team. With the full team in tact, they play hard every night. The believe they can win every night no matter who the opponent may be. That couldn’t have been any more evident this past week as they knocked off two division leading teams and a third that is sitting in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. While the Wizards have more growing and developing to do, it looks like they have finally turned that proverbial corner.